The Republican Health (sic) Care Act Crashed – Now What?

The Republican Health (sic) Care Act Crashed – Now What?

Trump’s most bizarre spin on the train wreck of the Republican’s Health Care Act was to blame its failure on the Democrats “We had no Democratic support. They weren’t going to give us a single vote.” There’s a reason why both Democrats and moderate Republicans opposed the Republican health care act re-negotiated with the ultra-right wing extremists in the so-called “Freedom Caucus.”  It was a terribly cruel, cynical attack on everyday Americans that would have stripped out outpatient services, emergency care, maternity benefits, mental health and drug treatment (for example targeted at America’s opioid epidemic), rehabilitation, laboratory services, and preventative medicine. What the Freedom Caucus insists on getting isn’t health care; it’s wealth care – their wealth. The president added that the “best thing we can do, politically speaking, is let ObamaCare explode. It’s exploding right now… Almost all states have big problems.” And this is the President who repeatedly has said, “”If you can’t take care of your sick in the country, forget it, it’s all over. I mean, it’s no good. So I’m very liberal when it comes to health care. I believe in universal health care. I believe in whatever it takes to make people well and better.” Here’s a radical idea: we know there are flaws in ObamaCare – along with many positives. So now it’s time for moderate Republicans and Democrats to do what Trump actually proposed after the train wreck of the AHCA:  “Democrats will come to us and say, ‘Look, let’s get together and get a great health care bill or plan that’s really great for the people of our country.’” But...
Atlanta Won the Super Bowl

Atlanta Won the Super Bowl

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a Giants fan. So the idea of beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl has a reassuring feel to it.  Plus my mom’s family is from Decatur, dating back generations before the War Between the States. Atlanta could use a break. Now Belichek (that’s not really an “American” name, is it?) and Brady get to join “Butcher Sherman.” I know you love conspiracies.  See http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2017/2/6/14523088/super-bowl-rigged-patriots-falcons-james-white-donald-trump    And certainly, the lying mainstream media all put out the “fake news” that New England won. That’s what they do, right? But Donald:  Lots of us actually watched the game. Yes, Edelman did an amazing David Tyree imitation. And Brady is, well, Brady, and Belichek is Belichek. Bottom line: championships are won when players make plays. The Patriots make the plays. That’s why they won. So it’s one thing to lie to the American people. You do that shamelessly.  You lost the popular vote because 3-5 million illegals (whom nobody, including Congressional Republicans) can find? The Mexicans are going to pay for a wall (that every national security expert with an iota of expertise and common sense says won’t stop illegal immigrants or drugs)?  Ooops. No. We taxpayers will foot the bill. Regulation needs to be eliminated? (A two-word answer – Wells Fargo). A “travel ban” isn’t a travel ban? (Your words) Our current vetting for admission takes 8 months to two years before entry with everybody including all the “alphabet agencies” getting their cut. That’s why there’s no more than 1 in 3-point something billion odds that any of us are in peril of getting attacked by a...

America’s New (un)Civil War – Part II

The furor over Donald Trump’s increasingly pitiful, dangerous insistence that the election is being “stolen” from him by the evil forces of tyranny abetted by a corrupted media, should be an early warning call.  The spirit of violent rebellion is rising again against the injustice and corruption of a government that has stopped listening to, serving, and respecting its people. Rebellion is deeply woven into the fabric of America’s existence. We are, as the ancient Romans would have understood, Janus-faced: one part of our instinctive, permanent character is loyalty, the other rebellion. But our survival as a democracy “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” depends on our ability to manage that inner conflict without ripping ourselves apart as a nation. It’s a daunting challenge. We were born in an act of rebellion against the legally-constituted government of Great Britain. But it was also a civil war between “Loyalists” (or Tories) against “Rebels” (or Patriots). It divided families and, pitted brothers against brothers and friends against friends. Eighty-two years later, the tensions that divide us erupted again in a frightful, tragic civil war. In my family on my mother’s side, it was called “The War Between the States,” or, more bitterly, “The War of Northern Aggression.” The Thomas family emigrated to America from Scotland in 1651 and settled in Virginia. My great grandfather, Lovick Thomas II, lived in Decatur, Georgia. He served as Colonel of the 42nd Georgia Infantry. I’ve read the diary kept by his wife, Jane Peeples Thomas and the letters they exchanged during the war. What emerges, roughly 150 years later, is a...

Living in Crazy World

Living in Crazy World JoAnn and I were on our way home yesterday from a gathering with friends when this news feed showed up on her IPhone: “ABC reports that President Obama has just signed an Executive Order outlawing the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.” I almost drove of the road in shock. “How could he do that?” “Why would he do that?”  “Has his mind been taken over by Extraterrestrial Aliens (or the Koch brothers?)” That was followed by the conviction “This is crazy, President Obama wouldn’t do that.” Of course it was crazy. When I got home and raced to fire up my laptop to find out what was really going on, I discovered it was all a hoax.  But tellingly, my first reaction was to treat this report as “news.” I think about this hoax now, which might be just an irresponsibly stupid prank but could as easily be a malicious attack of politically-driven misinformation. I can easily imagine Obama’s and Hillary’s detractors repeating it as gospel. “Have you heard what they’re doing now!  We need to put both of them in jail!” We have  serious drug problems in this country. But the most dangerous, in terms of the largest number of existing and potential addicts, is the narcotic of fear.  We shoot up every time we turn on the “news,”  respond to “anti-Social Media,” or pass along rumors with people who share our beliefs.  “Trump is going to destroy American democracy and turn us into a dictatorship.” “Hillary is in league with the World Bank, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderberg Group to destroy...

A Courageous Christmas Gift from Muslim Women

You won’t see this on Fox News, or hear it mentioned by GOP candidates. But two days ago, some very courageous Kenyan Muslim women risked their lives to save fellow bus passengers who were Christians.  And yes, the dots in the side of the bus are bullet holes. Their bus, with 100 passengers on board,  was stopped by Al-Shabaab terrorists, a group of fanatical murderers responsible for killing 150 innocent people at Keyna’s Garissa University College in April.  But when the terrorists ordered all Christians off the bus to be slaughtered, the Muslim women did something wonderful, and astounding.  They gave the intended victims their hijabs as disguises and hid others behind piles of luggage.  As reported by Annie Rose Ramos of CNN, the women said, “If you want to kill us, then kill us. There are no Christians here.”  The Christians were spared.  For another account, read Harriet Alexander‘s story. Joseph Nkaissery, Kenya’s interior cabinet secretary, said, afterwards, “We are all Kenyans, we are not separated by religion. We are one people as a nation.  And this is a very good message from my brothers and sisters from the Muslim community.” It’s also a good message for us in the United States.  How interesting, and sad, that these Kenyans understand the real meaning of American democracy better than many of us do now. As we celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Peace, let’s remember the example of these women in light of John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” As you look forward to the...